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The Lyric Theatre in Bridport, since being ‘rescued’ from some horrendous development by Niki some years ago, has become a place that invokes strong emotions in people, including intense loyalty and commitment to the ideas and ethos of Niki and the team she has built around her, including and especially Delphine. The building itself is both shambolic and completely delightful, with flock wallpaper and golden wall lights that are reminiscent of the era when I first knew it as a cinema during my childhood in Bridport (mid 40s/early 50s) and there is an intimate cafe/bar area with lots of atmosphere. The shows I have seen at the Lyric since it became a theatre again have all been fascinating, innovative, sometimes slightly crazy and always memorable. The atmosphere that is created seems to make it unimportant whether audience numbers are large or (sometimes) very small, as the space is adaptable to any variation of seating – from extremely intimate in a circle to the theatre being packed out with every space filled. I was delighted to be able to move my regular storytelling evenings with professional storytellers to the Lyric after the previous venue became unsuitable. For my final year of organising these events, it was hugely enjoyable to become a very small part of the Lyric team and to feel included in this wonderfully creative venture of providing a space within which new experiences could happen. The storytellers all thoroughly enjoyed the ‘feel’ of the place and the ways in which it was possible for audiences to be truly engaged in and part of the experience. Huge thanks to Niki, Delphine and the team of people who help to keep the theatre going and my best and warmest wishes for it to be able to continue in whatever way is possible as we eventually emerge from our current very dramatic time of pandemic.

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